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Alright a few days, my first rat Joshu was acting lethargic and I noticed some head tilt. He has NEVER sneezed as long as I have had him, and he is 6 or 7 months old.

So I called the vet and set up an appointment and noticed before the appointment he also has lice D:

Went to the vet, she gave him an invertimectic shot and gave me flea dip for the rest who as far as I can tell aren't as bad off with the lice. I have two other rats who were feeders (this was my first batch, I will prefer not to have feeders again.... ever unless they are from the same breeder as Joshu who takes EXCELLENT care of her feeders as they are also sold as pets) and they do sneeze often. But I don't see lice on them and will of course still treat them.

Vet said Joshu has a ulcer in his eye that is not healing very fast, possibly from the head tilt or he hurt his eye which caused head tilt. She also says that she can't hear his heart beat very clearly on the left side, only can hear it well on his right so some sort of thing is going on with his lungs. She says since he shows no other signs of pnemonia she thinks it could be one of three things:

Pnemonia
A tumor in his lungs
Anemia from the lice

So Joshu she gave him the shot and the lice went away. I still need to give him the dip however. She wants to wait to give him antibiotics to see if this will clear his problems up but I worry that I might loose him before that happens D: His breathing is very labored and he sleeps all the time and I've had him on my lap as often as possible to keep him seperate so he can get his rest.

So should I call her and ask for antibiotics? I know she wanted to wait, and also wanted to do a HIGHLY EXPENSIVE x-ray to be sure it wasn't a tumor but darn I would rather get him on antibiotics and do everything I can for him now than find out after the lice are gone that it was pnemonia and I should of treated him earlier.

She also said if I found the type of lice that laid eggs in the hair, we would have to shave all the rats D: I can't find anything online pertaining to shaving rats to rid them of lice. Please tell me if this happens. Also is there a type of lice that just eats skin cells therefor invertimectin doesn't do much for him?

Basically I'm wondering if my vet is on crack and if I should go back to the slightly more expensive but seemingly smarter and definately more clean vet office I took my ferrets to.

Thanks, hope that made sense.
 

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Re: Health Problems (head tilt, lice, possible tumor HELP D:

What kind of vet are you going to? You need to go to a vet that treats small animals, like hamsters, bunnies, rats...those kinds of animals.
 

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Re: Health Problems (head tilt, lice, possible tumor HELP D:

She is one that supposidly specialises in them ^^;;


So you think her suggestions of treatments are not normal at all.


I gave him the flea dip as she gave me... and Joshu seems to be doing horrible after that. He's breathing really hard and is too tired to even blink an eye at the bit of pasta I tried to treat him. He loves pasta.


He's not gasping though. I think I will make a appointment with my old vet tomorrow when they are open.
 

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Re: Health Problems (head tilt, lice, possible tumor HELP D:

i would ask for the anti biotics. better to start the treatment then wait for it to be too late. personally i think this vet is on crack. i've never heard of ahving to "flea dip" a rat and i would never bathe a rat with breathing problems. the stress of the bath will only exacerbate the breathing problems and wipe out his reserve strength. i've also never heard of ulcers in the eyes of rats. in fact the only animal i have heard anything similar in would cockerspanials and that's a genetic thing. most often head tilt is due to inner ear infections which can be caused by mites which can be found in woos bedding. and you cna't see mites with the naked eye but the TOPICAL medication used to treat it kills the buggers just fine.

go to the other vet. have them check his ears, and scrape his skin for mites then get them to give you the proper medication. the injectable kind is too strong for rats and the needle is painful.

to help him breath better in the mean time you can try to stream box the bath room. that should help clear his lungs of some fluid at least. as for eating make sure what he gets has high water content too as its probably unlikely that he's drinking much if he's feeling this lousy. warmed up baby foods (the fruits are a particualr favorite) would probably be easiest for him to take at the momment and will have plenty of fluids as well.
 

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Re: Health Problems (head tilt, lice, possible tumor HELP D:

D: I hope her horrible advice doesn't kill him. I will get the antibiotics ASAP. He's sound asleep on my lap right now. He's already been injected (by her) and bathed as I just did what I was told to do by someone who's suppose to be a professional at this.

Well whatever it is I'm not going back there again. I don't know, I can't really afford another $50 vet bill for another diagnostic T_T

I think she did say she would give me antibiotics but she didn't think that was the best route. What kind should she give me?
 

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Re: Health Problems (head tilt, lice, possible tumor HELP D:

twitch Is right. Usually with rats, the most common antibiotics given is Baytril. I personally wouldn't trust any antibiotic she would give me. Already is sounds like she knows nothing about how to treat a rat. If she doesn't even understand what is happening to your ratty, why would she know what kind of antibioctic and to what doseage to give him? I think the best thing is to just go to your old vet...Since they have seen your ferret you said, I'm sure they are much better with smaller animals. I hope Joshu feels better soon!
 

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Re: Health Problems (head tilt, lice, possible tumor HELP D:

don't take this the wrong way but if you can't afford a proper dianostic (and perhaps with the old vet you went to before you could arrange a payment plan if needed) it would be time to just put joshu down. its one of the hardest things you'll ever have to do. i've had do it myself fo my first rat. it was realy just horrbile timing for her to get sick. it was right after i rescued a rat from an abusive and neglectful home and had to have that rat go the the vet. she wiped out my vet fund after her operation and i had nothing left when pocket took sick. i was hoping she could hang on until my next pay and that i could borrow the balance from my parents and other family memebers but she was just too sick and suffering. she had a urinary tract infection, a mammorary tumor and a compressed disc in the spine. i felt like i had betrayed her. that i should have had more money put aside so things like this wouldn't have happened. that i should have kept a better eye on her so i could have caught the illnesses sooner. but ultimately i did what i could and i let her pass on in at least some dignity. if there isn't a way for you to work it that you can afford another set of tests then don't let him suffer. the crack vet will probably just end up costing you more money without any benifit to joshu anyway even if you told her what antibiotic to use in the first place i doubt she'd get the dosage right. and there's new ones out that are stronger and more aggressive in fighting illnesses such as these in rats. it is now used for humans but it was originally tested on rats and its almost like a miracle drug. i'm sure that i had used that drug first nezumi would ahve beaten her infection easily but by the time we got to it she was too weak to fight it anymore. i can't remember the name for it exactly but its a newer drug for humans. it starts with a "C" and ends in "floxin" if that helps any if you're able to take him to the other vet. they may be able to figure out what you mean by that.

but whatever course you take i hope joshu will be breathing easy and happy soon, whether it be at the rainbow bridge or in your arms. good luck.
 

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Re: Health Problems (head tilt, lice, possible tumor HELP D:

I'll make an appointment with my old vet today. Looking again at my budget, it will be tight but I think I can manage. That and Chris has offered to help me out.

Thanks so much for your advise, I mean he is doing bad but I don't think putting him down is a route I want to go to yet. He seems to love the baby food by the way.

Plus I opened my art commission cue and that will help tons. I know someone who has expressed interest in a comission for next week!
 

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Re: Health Problems (head tilt, lice, possible tumor HELP D:

actually, I just got in. Chris has been working 2 jobs and I have no vehicle so there isn't many days that going to the vet is possible. He is off on weekends, but last weekend I worked all weekend. But I kept feeding Joshu his baby food and doing my best in the meantime and he hung on.

So went to the vet this morning. She suggested to keep him there for a few days but I really can't afford that. He aparently has pneumonia and does indeed have an ulcer in his eye o_o It's kind of white but she gave him eye gunk for that. He also still has lice and was very dehydrated. She also thinks it might be heart disease.

She sent him home with feeding instructions and Baytril, .3 cc every 12 hours and 15-20 cc vegatable baby food every 24 hours. He also went into the nebulizing chamber for some nice clean air.

I hope it's not heart disease and this nips it in the bud. He seems to be more alert today, if not a wee bit nervous but he's still sleeping a ton. It's amazing how more filled out he looks after being injected with fluids and such. And he love the Baytril, it's like a treat to him <3. But yeah tuesday we are going to see her again and the bill is getting rather expensive so I had to ask her if we could do payment arrangements. She seemed iffy about that but said if I gave her my credit card or post dated a check that might be fine and dandy. She really seems to care and wants to give him the best treatment possible.

So I have no idea why I didn't stick with Dr. Lennox in the first place. She is full on energy and careing and seems to have a very nice glow about her. Here is her website if you are interested, or course she is only in Indy but I find her participation in an all veternarian band quite humerous:
http://www.birddr.com/
 
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